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Kitsch and Cakes: The Westside Bakery and Café's hearty morning meals 

click to enlarge dining_westsidecafe_elisejones.jpg

Gravy, potatoes and cinnamon rolls as big as my face: classic items that immediately make me think of an old-school diner. Both are available in plenty at Galveston's Westside Bakery and Café where it's always breakfast no matter the time of day.

The menu features much more (with lunch options and baked goods), but with breakfast items served all day, the morning meal is sure to please at this popular spot. Most in Bend are well aware of the wonder that is the Westside Bakery and Café - I'm only sad it took me so long to discover.

After having passed by the café many times, I finally ventured inside on a recently blustery winter morning. Quirky décor immediately set the café apart from other downtown eateries, with a giant wooden Elvis and a Big Bird statue situated amongst wooden tables and high shelves filled with figurines surrounding the dining room.

It's almost like eating in my mother's kitchen, where bacon arrives on a plate with a side of potatoes and a heart attack... that is, if my mother's kitchen had a train running around the top of the room, peculiar wood paneling and mounted animal heads on the walls.

The menu is basically your standard diner breakfast (think 24-hour chain restaurant yet more awesome) but with a local, personalized flair. House specialties include huevos rancheros ($9.75) where eggs are spiced up with corn tortillas, refried beans, cheese, salsa, tomatoes, onions, olives, and sour cream. And don't forget the side of potatoes.

Several Westside Scrambles mix eggs with a selection of breakfast items, all ranging from $10 to $11. Scrambles vary from the eclectic Greek Scramble with Kalamata olives, artichokes and feta cheese to the Hobo Scramble featuring bacon, ham, green onions, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.

One of the bakery's best inventions is the Cinnamon Roll French Toast Combo ($10.50) where a gigantic cinnamon roll is cooked French toast style alongside eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage. I never would have discovered it on my own, but the waitress suggested it upon hearing my exclamations about the ridiculous size of the cinnamon rolls. Turns out it is much more delicious than ridiculous.

Lucky for me the staff suggested such a gem. In fact, the friendly service and upbeat staff is part of what makes the Westside Bakery and Café so fabulous.

As far as down-home breakfast goes, the Westside Café is moderately priced, with menu items averaging $10 per plate. Portion sizes make up for the price, so you won't leave hungry. Best of all, the café opens as early as 6:30 a.m. on the weekends - making it perfect for a filling meal before heading up the mountain.

I prefer to make a firm distinction between everyday breakfasts and occasional indulgent weekend breakfasts. The Westside Bakery and Café is definitely the special weekend breakfast joint (unless you have a better metabolism than I do, and a very hearty appetite).

Although it's not the sort of breakfast that will compliment a person's waistline if eaten regularly, the Westside Bakery & Café could easily become part of my regular weekend rotation.

The Westside Bakery & Café

1005 Northwest Galveston Ave

Breakfast and Lunch Daily.

541- 382-3426

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